Sandy Point State Park provides its visitors with endless memories and unforgettable stories to be passed down from one generation to the next. The park is open year round and is a site on the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network http://www.baygateways.net/.
This 786-acre Maryland State Park is located along the Northwestern shore of the majestic Chesapeake Bay. The park’s beaches and picnic areas are well known for their breathtaking scenic water views that overlook one of Maryland’s true treasures, the Chesapeake Bay. The park was first opened on June 25, 1952 and has provided its guests with various activities and services ever since. Some of these activities and services include Swimming Beaches, Picnicking, Fishing, Crabbing, Boating, Hiking, Youth Group Camping, Areas of Historical Interest and Wildlife Viewing. The Park also offers a marina store and boat rentals.
Wildlife viewing and bird watching are favorite pastimes for many park visitors. Sandy Point's location on the Eastern Flyway makes it an ideal location for viewing a large variety of woodland, marsh and migratory waterfowl. A park map is available at the park office. Review the "Frequently Asked Questions" page to help you plan your visit to Sandy Point.
If you have purchased a Maryland Park Service annual Passport and need information on how to obtain a magnetic entry card for access to Sandy Point, please click on the Frequently Asked Questions link for further information. Entry pass information is located in the General Information section of the Frequently Asked Questions web page.
Pets are allowed in Sandy Point State Park in the following areas:
- Pets are allowed in the boat ramp area to board vessels
- Pets are allowed in the day use area from October 1 to April 30
Sandy Point State Park Holiday Open House - December 14, 2013
Join park staff on December 14th from 6 to 9 p.m. for free crafts, hot chocolate, live animals, a bonfire and more! Sandy Point State Park merchandise will also be available as special holiday prices. Entry fee into the Lights On The Bay holiday light display is required.
Lights On The Bay
The Lights on the Bay display is a scenic drive along the shore of the Chesapeake Bay with more than 60 animated and stationary displays illuminating the roadway. The Christmas light show is sponsored by the Anne Arundel Medical Center.
Lights on the Bay is open nightly from November 23, 2013 through January 1, 2014 from 5 to 10 p.m. The cost of admission is $14 per car. For information call 443-481-3161.
The park’s lengthy beaches located at South Beach provide plenty of room for stretching out and enjoying the sun’s warmth as you dry off after swimming in the cool tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. A portion of South Beach is protected with lifeguards from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and holidays, Memorial Day to Labor Day. A bathhouse is located near the beach and provides park users with restroom and showering facilities. Snack food, beach and picnic supplies are also available at the South Beach area of the park. Maryland State Parks are “Trash Free”. Please practice “Leave No Trace” principles and take your trash with you when you leave. To view these principles visit www.lnt.org.
Special Notes: For the safety of our visitors, tents are not permitted. Only see through sun shelters without a bottom floor are allowed. During the late summer months there may be jellyfish.
Junior Rangers Program
Junior Rangers Summer Session - Discover the many wonders of Sandy Point State Park in weekly sessions of our Junior Ranger Program. Children will learn first hand what it’s like to be a Park Ranger, search for insects and “creepy crawlies”, get up close and personal with animal life, and be a park detective in search of life in the wetlands, ponds, woods, and human habitats. Call the park office at 410-974-2149 for details or download an application from this website.
Dates: July 9, 16, 23, 30; and August 6 and 13
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Age: 7-14 years old
Cost: $25 per child (siblings are only $10.00)
The park’s grassy picnic areas are located next to the swimming beach. Playgrounds and bathrooms are located in these areas also. Limited numbers of grills and picnic tables are available on a first come first served basis. The park’s marina store, located near the boat launch ramps, offers a variety of picnic and grilling supplies. For those visitors who prefer not to cook, there is a food concession located at South Beach. It is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Maryland State Parks are “Trash Free”. Please practice “Leave No Trace” principles and take your trash with you when you leave. To view these principles visit www.lnt.org.
For family reunions, group picnics and large group gatherings, a more sheltered outdoor picnic experience is available. The park has twelve rental shelters located at the East Beach area of the park. Shelters are available by reservation only. Nine shelters accommodate up to 140 people, two shelters accommodate up to 180 people, and one shelter accommodates up to 300 people. The shelters include picnic tables, grills and limited electrical receptacles. Water faucets are also available nearby. East Beach has its own swimming beach and bathhouse as well. Alcohol is allowed in shelters by permit only. Permits can only be obtained through the shelter reservation system.
Click here to make reservations on-line for Sandy Point State Park or call 1-888-432-CAMP (2267).
There has been a noted increase in flying insect activity, especially flies, in areas of the park closest to wet, marshy areas. This is common during the late summer months and during periods of wet weather. Some of the shelters, because of their location, may be impacted. Use of sprays, traps and insect repellants is recommended when visiting the East Beach shelter area.
Special Note: Maryland State Parks are “Trash Free”. Please practice “Leave No Trace” principles and take your trash with you when you leave. When enjoying the outdoors, it is important to remember that we must all do our part to protect the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Learn how you can protect the water trails and the Bay through the Leave No Trace ideal. To view these principles visit www.lnt.org.
Fishing & Crabbing
Fishing from the shoreline is permitted in designated areas. There are several rock jetties in the park and a fishing pier located next to the boat launch ramps. The park allows night fishing; however, only people who are actively fishing can be in the park after the park closes. Bait & fishing supplies are available in the marina store. For store hours call the marina at 410-974-2772.
Special Note: A Chesapeake Bay Sport fishing license is required for those 16 years of age and older. For the safety of our visitors, tents are not permitted. Only see through sun shelters without a bottom floor are permitted.
The Chesapeake Bay blue crab is a delicious treat and can be caught on the park’s fishing and crabbing pier located at the south end of the boat launch ramps. Special Note: Be sure to follow the crabbing regulations and restrictions. This information, as well as crabbing supplies, may be found at the marina store located near the boat launch ramps.
Sandy Point’s staff is very proud of the park’s marina facility, which includes 22 launching ramps and six finger piers for temporary day use docking on a first come first served basis. The marina’s boat pump-out station is available April through October. The facility is certified as a Clean Marina. Please call Sandy Point State Park’s headquarters at 410-974-2149 to check for boat pump-out availability. We have a Marina Store near the boat ramps which sells last minute needs such as boating fuel, fishing bait, and tackle. Boating, picnicking and crabbing supplies, as well as ice, snacks and drinks, are also available for sale. Depending on the Coast Guard’s wind and weather reports, motorboats are available for rent in late spring, summer, and early fall. Please call Sandy Point State Park’s Marina for availability and prices at 410-974-2772.
To verify regional tides for Maryland waterways, visit: http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/access/tide_finder.html
If you are the proud owner of a smaller vessel such as a catamaran, Hobie cat, canoe, kayak, or windsurfer and would like a safe, convenient place to launch, then head to the Small-craft Launch Area in the south end of the park. Parking is limited in this area, but convenient parking is available nearby after you launch. To help you find other available small craft launch areas near or around Sandy Point State Park, go to http://www.aacounty.org/RecParks/launch/index.cfm
Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that offers sailing opportunities for physically and/or developmentally-challenged individuals. For more information call CRAB at 410-626-0273 or visit their website at http://www.crab-sailing.org/
Whether you feel like taking a recreational walk or looking for some of Maryland’s beautiful plants and animals, Sandy Point State Park has an opportunity for you. The Symbi Trail is located by the first picnic area on the right after entering the park. This trail provides views of an old planted pine forest and leads to neighboring marshes that many plants and animals call home. There is another short trail near the small craft parking lot that provides hikers with wooded cover that is perfect for seeing some of Maryland’s distinctive birds.
Bordering Sandy Point State Park is the Corcoran Tract, a natural environmental area. Here there are approximately four miles of trails where you can hike, jog, and see many types of plants and animals. For more information about this property please call Sandy Point State Park at 410-974-2149.
Youth Group Camping
The park has two Youth Group Camping sites that are strictly for official youth groups only. The youth group camping sites are open from the beginning of April through the beginning of November. These rustic camping sites overlook the Chesapeake Bay. Each site has a small picnic shelter with two tables and a grill. Download a Youth Group Pass application online. If your youth group would like to do a service project during your stay, please call the park two weeks before the date of your arrival and speak with the volunteer coordinator to set up a project.
Click here to make youth group camping reservations on-line for Sandy Point State Park
or call 1-888-432-CAMP (2267).
Nature Center and Interpretive Programs
The Sandy Point Nature Center, located in the heart of the park, is an education center which displays collections of local wildlife including a snake, turtles and frogs. Visitors of all ages will also enjoy hands-on displays and an area where they can dress up like a ranger. The park also offers a wide variety of interpretive programs for visitors of all ages, as well as environmental literacy programs for grades 3-8. Check out the park's interpretive brochures to find a program for your school, group organization or family that will suit your needs.
Sandy Point Mansion is currently under a private curatorship with the Department of Natural Resources. The curator is working to restore the building to look as it did in the 1700’s when the park land was originally a farm. The mansion can be seen from the main park road but is not open to the public.
From the shores of Sandy Point State Park you can see the Sandy Point Lighthouse. The Sandy Point Shoal lighthouse was built in 1883 and features a 37-foot Empire-style, eight-sided red brick tower with a white roof and black lantern, which houses a 4th order Fresnel lens. This structure replaced an earlier Sandy Point Light that had been built on land where Sandy Point State Park is located now. The original lighthouse, a brick tower constructed in 1858, was located on shore and situated in a poor location.
The current Sandy Point Shoal Light has a wooden foundation supporting a round 35-foot-diameter cement-filled cast iron cylinder on which a 2 1/2-story brick structure rests. The structure is 24 by 24 feet with cut corners. Although not originally painted, the brick portion of the structure is now painted red. The first two stories were used as living quarters, the third level as the watch room, and the lower level within the cast iron cylinder, as a storage area for water, coal, and oil. The lighthouse was electrified in 1929 and fully automated in 1963. The lighthouse is in 5 to 7 feet of water, approximately 1000 yards east from the beach at Sandy Point State Park and approximately 1 1/2 miles north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
The Sandy Point Shoal Lighthouse photograph is courtesy of Kraig Anderson.
The Marina Store, located near the boat launch ramps, is open from mid-April through mid-October. Here you can purchase a variety of boating, fishing, crabbing and picnicking supplies. Boat fuel, ice, snacks and drinks are also available for sale. Rowboats and 6hp motorboats are also available for rent on a first come first served basis. Boat rental availability is subject to weather conditions. Call the marina store at 410-974-2772 for up-to-date rental information.
Currently, Sandy Point State Park has a need for individuals to help us keep the park clean by picking up litter on the grounds and parking lots. If you can give us a morning or an afternoon, especially on weekends, please contact the park's volunteer coordinator Rob Jones at Sandy Point State Park headquarters at 410-974-2149 or by email to email@example.com
Sandy Point State Park is the host location for several local annual Special Events. For dates and other information about these events go to the sponsor’s website links or call the numbers below. Note: The event prices may not include the park entrance cost. Please call Sandy Point State Park at 410-974-2149 for further information.
Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival
Chesapeake Bay Events, Inc.
The Great Chesapeake Bay Swim, Inc.
Maryland Seafood Festival
ABC Events, Inc.
July through September
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Chesapeake Bay Lighthouse Challenge
Chesapeake Chapter/U.S. Lighthouse Society
Lights on the Bay
November to January
Anne Arundel Medical Center
Admission Prices and Park Hours
When the Contact Station is not staffed, the automatic toll will be in operation. Effective April 1, 2010 the automatic toll machine accepts exact change only in the form of $1’s, quarters, MasterCard and VISA credit cards.
Sandy Point State Park may fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Visitors will not be admitted to the park during the closure. Anyone who leaves the park during the closure will not be permitted to re-enter until the park reopens. There are no other public swimming beaches in the area.
Weekends and Holidays
- January 1st until mid-April -- $3.00 per vehicle
- Mid April until end of October -- $5.00 per person for Maryland resident -- $7.00 per person for non-Maryland resident
- November 1st until December 31st -- $3.00 per vehicle
Weekdays (not including holidays that fall on a weekday)
- January 1st until Memorial Day -- $3.00 per vehicle
- Memorial Day through Labor Day -- $4.00 per person for Maryland resident -- $6.00 per person for non-Maryland resident
- Labor Day until December 31st -- $3.00 per vehicle
Sunset to Sunrise – Boating & Fishing
- Year round -- $3.00 per vehicle (Excluding special events and when the contact station is staffed. See prices above)
Park Hours: Day Use
- January 1 through March 31 -- 7 a.m. to sunset
- April 1 through October 31 -- 6 a.m. to sunset
- November 1 through December 31 -- 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Fishing -- 24 hour access January through mid-November
- Boating -- 24 hour access year round
Sandy Point State Park offers accessible food and beverage concession, fishing, picnic areas, shelters, bathhouses, sailing concessions and playgrounds. For additional accessible amenities in Maryland State Forests and Parks, visit the Accessibility for All section of this website.
Sandy Point State Park is located Anne Arundel County, at the western terminus of the Bay Bridge, off U.S. Routes 50/301 at exit 32.
Sandy Point State Park
1100 East College Parkway
Annapolis MD 21409
GPS 3900 48.81N 7624 07.95W
Contact Sandy Point
Main Office: 410-974-2149
Hours of Operation
7 a.m. to Sunset, January 1-March 31
6 a.m. to Sunset, April 1-October 31
7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 1-Dec. 31
Fishing - 24 hr. access Jan. to mid-Nov.
Boating - 24 hr. access year-round
Certain activities are permitted outside of the regular park hours (e.g. fishing, boat launch, hunting where permitted). Please check with the park before your visit if you plan to engage in an activity which requires you to be in the park before or after the posted hours.
Contact the Park Service
- Toll Free: 1-800-830-3974
- Reservations: 1-888-432-2267
- Park Watch: 1-800-825-7275
- Email Us